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Lineburg, trustees talk priorities at school retreat / July 06, 2017

The Halifax County School Board will travel to Lynchburg Tuesday for their annual retreat, an early opportunity to sit down with new superintendent of schools Mark Lineburg to discuss the county division’s top priorities.

Tuesday's agenda is divided up into five subjects: facilities, budget, student learning, policies, procedures and practices, and short-term board goals.

The meeting begins at 8:30 a.m. at the Burton Student Center at Lynchburg College.

Although his contract began July 1, as a practical matter Lineburg reported Wednesday for his first day of work at the School Board Central Office. Being new to the job, the retreat is a chance for Lineburg to “get a feel for what’s been done in the past and look ahead,” he said.

“It’s a discussion for me to hear from the board on where we’re going.”

While the downtrodden state of Halifax County High School is the most pressing facilities matter for discussion, Lineburg said participants would be “talking about our thoughts on all of our facilities.”

The same goes for student learning, where Lineburg said “we’re beginning to shape” priorities for what each school in the county should be doing. The Central Office has received preliminary data from the state on the most recent round of SOL test results, and using this information, “by the end of the month, I think we’ll be real specific” on changes that should take place in the classroom.

“We want the day when we have nine of nine schools fully accredited. That is our aspiration,” said Lineburg.

The retreat will be held in Lynchburg despite objections aired at the most recent school board meeting by trustee Fay Satterfield, who advocated staying at home in Halifax County for the discussion. Lineburg said there were advantages and disadvantages to holding the retreat out of town, but he added that it can be “nice to get out” and the Lynchburg College facilities are being offered free of charge. “I don’t think it matters that much,” said Lineburg. “Lynchburg is just up the road.”

The retreat is open to the public. On Monday, the school board will meet in regular session in Halifax, starting at 6 p.m.

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